Pondering the No

I baked an extra loaf and was wondering if you’d like it.

Oh, that’s so sweet! But I’m eating low carb right now and I really shouldn’t. I’d eat it all in one gulp!

I baked an extra loaf today, and would love for you to have it.

Thanks so much, Jane, but we’re eating gluten free at the moment. 

Many years ago, I stayed away myself from anything wheat related. For more than a year I skipped pasta and bread and bagels and donuts. I was battling an onset of allergies and was ready to do all I could to rid myself of the uncomfortable world of tissue boxes and sneezes. It turns out I didn’t have a wheat allergy, but when you’re miserable, you will try just about anything.

And, the whole wheat industry has changed. The baking industry has changed, people’s eating habits have changed. So I’m not surprised when someone turns down a warm loaf of my homemade bread. It’s just that it’s happening so often now that I’m wondering whether I should find another way to give?

Anyway, that’s what I’m currently pondering. And you can ponder right alongside me if you like. I’d love your thoughts if you’re in the mood to share…


There’s always the beach!

Sending you love, dear friends.



23 thoughts on “Pondering the No

  1. Pingback: Orthodox Collective

  2. Even if they don’t want the bread (or at least the pounds that come with it), I’m sure they appreciate your efforts, thoughtfulness, and generosity. I know I love hearing about your stories.

    • Thank you, Presvytera Magda. Yes, I’ve felt that people always appreciate the effort, but even some look a little pitiful when they no to a warm loaf of bread. It has been awkward at times. I’d say it’s a 50/50 gamble right now–that folks around me are eating wheat… What is your guess of the percentage in your part of the world?

  3. It’s getting so you have to have your dinner guests fill out a questionnaire before you know what to fix for dinner!

  4. ♥ You point out a very common issue…there are a lot of people steering clear of wheat. And while we eat it, we don’t eat a TON of it and when we do, it’s not highly processed (no high fructose corn syrup in it either, which many breads now contain), so I feel like it’s fine.
    After reading your post about the wheat and that you guys counted 30 to 50 wheat berries per stalk, I was so excited and though we might try to grow some. To our surprise, some HAS grown, we must’ve thrown those wheat berries for the chickens to eat and it grew…SO excited, they are seedy, but green, still.

  5. Dearest Jane,
    Bread Bread Bread. I always say my daughter, Marina, could live on Bread and water. She loves bread, and we do too! We will take it regardless of the wheat, of the calories, and appreciate the love put into baking bread – All the prayers put into baking bread. It is an art of love and it satisfies our bellies with the wheat God made for us to use….
    Bread Bread Bread, one of the most loved words in our household. DONT GIVE UP ON GIVING BREAD…..the bread of life!
    and the beach, well you are blessed to be so close. We are going 1 month from today for the whole week! CANT WAIT! :))))) Keep on Baking dear friend!

    • Enjoy your beach time, Kh, Tammy! I won’t stop baking, but I may tone down how much bread I make and be more deliberate in how I give. Right now I simply bake twice what we need and leave the giving to the last minute…We’re ending up with more bread than we need on the countertop… I may have to be much more thoughtful when I’m mixing up that sourdough!

  6. Dear Jane,
    Here I am, with time on my hands – now (not always) and never thinking of baking bread. I do make many banana bars and cookies for my husband’s crew at work, but why don’t I make bread? I agree with Kh Tammy. Keep making bread. I think it blessed you more than the receiver and you never know about those receivers. God knows. Reading your posts encourages me to bake some bread – like I used to when my babies were babies.

    • Yes, Maye, why don’t you make bread?!!! 🙂 I’m kidding. Thanks for the encouragement. I still believe in the giving and trust that God will show a new path, if there is one. Now… off you go to the kitchen–roll up those sleeves, and write to me when your warm loaf of bread pops out of the oven!

  7. I’d be a yes! But I, too, hit the snag when providing treats for other people’s children. Alternative flours? Just fruit? Ugh.
    Could I maybe get some sourdough starter from you sometime? As a gift? I used to have a Bible teacher that had a strain from the pioneers that came west with a bag of flour and a bowl of sourdough on top…and went to Alaska too. Both the teacher and my s’do are gone now…
    I’d cry to have a gluten allergy, but then I live with a milk one, so it would be a turning thanks to God after all, wouldn’t it?I love the encouragement from your posts and thank God for you, Jane.

  8. Hi Jane. I remember when you gave up wheat and I was so sad that the bread baker’s daughter wasn’t eating bread anymore! (not even my challah)! Grace gave up wheat for a while when she was diagnosed with colitis but sadly it was not the answer to her health problems. And, just recently I met a woman who was eating a gluten free diet in solidarity with her 4 year old daughter whose nighttime stomach aches had greatly improved after they removed wheat from her diet. It does seem that the gluten free diet is gaining popularity these days. From a western medicine perspective true wheat allergies have different symptoms than those many people are trying to alleviate. I often think stress and emotional distress are more at the root of some of the symptoms I hear about like headaches, stomachaches, behavioral problems,and moodiness..
    I have my own peculiarities when it comes to eating bread. I bake all of our bread using only organic, whole grain flours. Whole grain addresses, in part, the objection to carbohydrates as they contain more complex carbohydrates, more protein, and more micronutrients; and organic because we eat it for breakfast every day and I figure if I can control some little amount of unwanted chemicals in our diet, why not? All that being said, if you were my neighbor again I would gladly accept and eat bread baked by the baker’s daughter!

    • Hi, Diane! Miss you… Yes, so many diets are so overly saturated with junky foods–all processed and so hard on our systems… We actually don’t eat that much wheat–just a bit each day–some days none–and I always lace, even my whitest of breads, with some freshly ground kamut or other ancient strain of whole wheat. And you should see what I pack into my chocolate chip cookies. If the kids only knew…
      Anyway, I sure wish we were neighbors again, Diane. I’d make you organic-flour bread every single day–and probably never bother with anyone else–that’s how much I miss you…

  9. What a bold thought to post – you know, transparent. I’ve had similar thoughts – wondering why it is so easy these days to talk about what we eat, what we don’t eat. What we like and don’t like. To me the problem is in the receiving. Just think if we said no sin like we say no to gluten these days (hah)! When someone offers a gift, we have a responsibility then and there. If we don’t eat gluten we can pass it on to someone who does ’cause there are plenty out there who eat it. Keep giving bread, Jane! Bless you!

    • Yes, it’s a different culture now, than years ago. Giving, receiving, being hospitable to guests, to neighbors, to strangers. Our behavior has shifted in many ways. I think at the root, if we can simply see our neighbor as an icon of Christ, as someone maybe masquerading as an angel (even if we know they’re not angels!), if we can look past the broken part of humanity and see the beauty that is certainly there, then the giving and the taking will all fall into place. Thanks for the blessings, Erin. Sending you lots and lots of love…

      (PS–love this part–“Just think if we said no sin like we say no to gluten these days (hah)! ” Brilliant

  10. Jane, my vote is to continue baking and sharing. I know a few folks who are trying to eat a gluten free diet; but, the majority still are able to enjoy delicious, breads of many types. If a loaf is declined, just ask someone else…..or wrap and freeze it and give it in a few days……….reheated homemade bread is still great!

  11. Jane, maybe you should go into the used car business. Ha! I stay away from gluten, but if you baked me some bread, I’d eat it. And, then I’d go to the beach.

  12. Jane, on Saturday after dropping Andrew at your home, I rolled just a few houses further down to visit a friend of mine, Debbie. We sat out on the porch and enjoyed the freshness of the day and in the midst of the conversation, I got to hear how you gave her a loaf of bread one day when you were maybe headed to the triplets’ home but they were not there. Anyway, it was a blessing to her! :=)

    I vote for KEEP BAKING! And if you feel particularly adventurous you could maybe try some of those chaussons aux pommes. They look so yummy (thanks for the link to the photos!), and I’m just about positive that NO ONE could turn one of those down.

    But it is impossible for me to comprehend saying NO to a fresh baked loaf of your bread. I’m with you that our culture is jaded these days–either afraid of getting poisoned or just afraid to receive a gift.

    Continue on, my friend…continue on.

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